Intelligence for the Coalition:

The Story of Support to Coalition Task Force-Kuwait

by Colonel William R. Moore and Colonel Kenneth H. Boll, Jr.

During February 1998, Iraq’s continued defiance of international sanctions, resulting from its unsuccessful aggression against Kuwait, caused the allies to establish Coalition Task Force-Kuwait (CTF-K). It was part of Operation DESERT THUNDER with the mission to deter further aggression against Kuwait. Commanded by Lieutenant General Thomas R. Franks, CTF-K was a multi-Service, multi- national force, large enough to actually defend Kuwait and configured to expand for increased military roles in the region.

CTF-K intelligence operations during Operation DESERT THUN- DER consistently supported the commander with timely and accurate intelligence at the operational and tactical levels. The intelligence architecture for collection and dissemination provided the foundation for a continuing capability for CTF-K and, in a very short time, set a new standard for intelligence organizations in theater.

With the help of national and theater agencies, a multidiscipline intelligence center coordinated the counterintelligence and other intelligence disciplines within CTF-K’s Joint Intelligence Support Element (JISE). U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) supported the JISE and the Coalition Opera- tions and Intelligence Center (COIC) with a Joint Command Augmentation Cell. They provided joint multidiscipline intelligence experts in operational-level issues to assist CENTCOM in establishing the Coalition/Joint intelligence operations C/J2 section, and facilitated the rapid transition. The C/J2 had staff augmentation in the following areas: plans, operations, foreign disclosure, collection management, and current intelligence. As a whole, the CTF-K intelligence staff coordinated an impressive array of intelligence organizations.

 

 

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Forward presence was perhaps the single greatest intelligence force multiplier. With the intelligence systems architecture in place in Kuwait, and experienced intelligence liaison officers already assigned, existing procedures easily expanded to accommodate the demands of a Coalition headquarters.

The agency of the Task Force Counterintelligence Coordinating Authority (TFCICA), appointed by CENTCOM, coordinated counter- intelligence (CI). Supported by CENTCOM’s Joint Rear Area Coordination staff in theater, the TFCICA quickly identified and organized more than 80 tactical CI personnel from 3 separate Services within the CTF-K joint operational area. The TFCICA coordinated CI support, force protection guidance, and multidiscipline CI protection for the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized). Weekly JWICS (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Commun- ications System) video-telecon- ferences with terrorism experts from the national intelligence agencies and CENTCOM helped the TFCICA ensure superb force protection, threat visualization, and accurate assessments for commanders at all levels of the CTF-K.

The JISE-coordinated signals intelligence (SIGINT) was vital for CTF-K operations and analysis. Likewise, the imagery intelligence (IMINT) area showed great growth and improvement in the Coalition intelligence arena since DESERT STORM. Within days of alert, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) furnished a support package of personnel and equipment that revolutionized in-theater support for the planning process; their support lent a new dimension to intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) for the joint and combined operational planning group. Ably assisted by a detachment of the 100th Engineer Company (Topographic), the NIMA team established a Terrain Center of Excellence. Bound together by the latest automated dataprocessing equipment and powerful dissemination networks, the IMINT capability for the CTF-K matured into an unparalleled in-theater support structure for the maneuver commander.

A strong measurement and signals intelligence (MASINT) presence supported CTF-K—with Medium Ground Station Module (MGSM) teams from the 513th MI Force Projection Brigade providing Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) downlinks to the deep operations coordination centers at both the land component command headquarters (formed by the Marne Division’s tactical command post) and at the COIC. In addition to the MGSMs, a stand-alone Joint STARS workstation deployed and tested at the CTF headquarters, with great success. Joint STARS was one successful piece of an overall superb targeting effort of the CTF-K during a one-week deep operations center coordination exercise, as well as during a Coalition command post exercise.

CENTCOM support in the technical area of foreign disclosure was another success story. Early deployment of a functional area expert from the CENTCOM unified command staff eased the way for a frank intelligence exchange among all the Coalition partners. A trailblazing foreign disclosure standing operating procedure (SOP) has been incorporated into the CTF-K command and control process. Common sense and cooperation are standard in the CTF-K intelligence system.

Coalition intelligence exchange regarding the Iraqi threat was perhaps the single greatest intelligence success story of DESERT THUNDER. The Kuwaiti Defense staff was particularly supportive of CTF-K intelligence requests for information (RFIs). The CTF-K re- ciprocated by providing tactical intelligence information to all the